If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’ve ventured into an enchanted universe, look no further than the Isle of Skye. Located on the west coast of Scotland, this beautiful island is home to incredible natural scenery and prehistoric areas just waiting to be explored! Skye is at its best from May through September when it’s a little warmer outside and most restaurants and shops open their doors after being closed all winter. Follow this weekend guide for a fun and active adventure through one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.
Make your way to Skye in the late afternoon, crossing the Skye Bridge and following the A87 road north east to the city of Portree. This is the capital city of Skye as it is the largest city on the Island and has the largest number of restaurants and accommodation options. Portree’s location is ideal for exploring everything on the Island since it is near all the major roads and is no more than a 45-minute drive to any one destination! Once you’ve settled in to your accommodation, head over to Scorrybreac Restaurant on Bosville Terrace for a delicious meal that will have you ready for all of tomorrow’s adventures.
Begin the day with a drive north around the A855 ring road to the Storr, home to the Old Man of Storr, one of the most famous destinations in Skye. The Old Man of Storr hike takes you around a huge pinnacle of rock that towers over the surrounding cliffs and hills and can be seen from miles away on a clear day. Getting to the base of this huge rock entails a climb up a moderately steep, winding, path which leads you to a series of steep stone steps. After climbing the steps, you’ll find yourself at one of the most dazzling view points on the island. When admiring the mountain ranges, lochs, and cliffs around you, keep in mind that these all date back to the Jurassic Period and were once home to dinosaurs.
After your trek through the ancient Storr, head further north along the A855 to the Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls viewpoint. When standing on the edge of the viewpoint, you’ll see the Mealt Falls on your left, crashing into the ocean below. On your right, you’ll see Kilt Rock, so named for looking like a series of traditional Scottish kilts. With all of this sight seeing and walking, it’s time for lunch at Ellishadder Art Café just a few minutes away.
Now that lunch is over, continue on the ring road to one of the best hidden gems on the island, the Fairy Glen. Located just outside of the small town of Uig, the Fairy Glen is a landslip with natural rock formations that create a sort of fairytale landscape. Climb up to the Castle Ewan, a basalt topped hill which resembles a small castle, then wander through the maze like paths that wind through the small hills. After the Fairy Glen, head back to Portree for a stroll along the harbor then dinner at the Harbour Chip Shop for the freshest fish and chips.
Today, head northwest to Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. Take a tour through the Castle’s beautiful rooms, learn the history of the MacLeod Clan who have owned the castle for 800 years, then stroll through the lovely gardens. Depending on the weather and season, you can even take a boat trip from the castle to see the Loch Dunvegan seal colony.
Just a few miles north of Dunvegan Castle is Coral Beach, a little off the beaten path but definitely a great hidden gem when visiting Skye. The sand on this beach is actually made up of millions of tiny pieces of calcified seaweed, making it a bright white color, and is covered in thousands of little snail shells. There is an easy to follow path from the car park that leads directly to the Coral Beach and to the Cnoc Mor a Ghrobain hill, which offers views overlooking the beach, the loch, and maybe even some seals!
After Coral Beach, it’s time to head west to Neist Point Lighthouse which is situated on a long cliff jutting into the sea. The lighthouse offers incredible views of the area, especially when you look south to see the hills and waterfalls set against the sea. In order to get to the lighthouse, head down a flight of stone steps then follow the winding path to the edge of the cliff. Before heading to the car park, walk up the little hills on the north side of the car park until you see a series of stones in the ground. This is one of the best spots to view the lighthouse from and is actually where many famous photos of Neist Point were taken. Just be sure to have sturdy, waterproof, shoes on as the ground can get wet and muddy.
The best way to end your time here is at one of the most popular and sensational sights in Skye, the Fairy Pools. Set against the jagged Black Cuillins mountain range, the Fairy Pools are a series of waterfalls whose crystal blue waters fall into natural swimming pools. It is an ideal place to walk and climb about on the rocks or go for a swim if you’re feeling adventurous. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the rocks or meander through the brush towards the Black Cuillins for even more incredible views of the mountain range. Before you head back across Skye Bridge, grab something for the road at Sia’s Café and say a final farewell to the beautiful Skye.
Olivia is a travel writer currently living in Scotland, and spends her days exploring the country and all it has to offer. When she’s not out exploring, you can find her snacking on macarons and planning her next adventure. She has recently taken up photography and documents her travels on her Instagram, extraordinaryordinaryme.